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Thread: Aftermath: Reality check for Cincy...

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    Default Aftermath: Reality check for Cincy...


    Bengals just can't quite get there
    By Paul Daugherty ē
    November 8, 2010

    It was a push and shove game on a glitz and glamour night. Pittsburgh tends to win those. The Steelers can prevail without their A game. Maybe the Bengals can, too. This year, itís impossible to tell. They havenít brought their A game yet.

    The Bengals were down 20 after one play of the fourth quarter. They rallied, they fought, they didnít give up. Choose your clichť. They lost, 27-21, when Jordan Shipley couldnít hang onto Carson Palmerís pass at the Pittsburgh 4-yard line, after being sandwiched by Pittsburgh defenders James Harrison and Ike Taylor, with 34 seconds to play.

    A noble L is still an L. And so the warmed-over leftover portion of the season has begun.

    For three quarters, it looked like this: Pittsburgh came to town, did what it had to do and left. The game wasnít especially electric, unless you count the gold paint on Chad Ochocincoís shoes.

    . The Steelers werenít especially good. They lost two starting offensive linemen to injury (center Maurkice Pouncey, left guard Chris Kemoeatu) in one, three-play stretch early in the second quarter. They lost another lineman, Max Starks, in the third quarter, even as Pouncey returned.

    Their front seven did not overly harass Carson Palmer. Their secondary allowed two TD passes to Terrell Owens. Cedric Benson had as many running yards after three quarters as the Steelers had allowed on average per game.

    In short, it was another game for the winning, if the Bengals had been in the mood for it.

    As it was, they didnít do enough right, which about sums up the first, lost half of the season.

    Losing teams look for something, anything good to happen. The Bengals got something very good, early on. Being the 2010 Bengals, they didnít take advantage.

    The Steelers had a series from hell to start the second quarter. In five plays, they lost Kemoeatu, Pouncey and the ball.

    Leon Hallís helmet found the football after Pittsburghís Hines Ward caught it. Roy Williams picked up the loose ball. Two minutes later, Carson Palmer located his favorite toy, Terrell Owens, with a 19-yard TD pass down the middle. Owens did a strange little dance and the Bengals were down just 10-7.

    This was after the Bengals gave away 10 points to start the game. With losing teams, itís always something. Monday night, the Bengals special teams took a turn modeling the horns. Bernard Scott fumbled the opening kickoff, which led to a 25-yard Steelers touchdown ďdrive.íí

    Their next possession, the Bengals had a punt blocked. William Gay steamed in unbothered from Cincinnatiís left side. Six plays later, the Steelers had a 10-0 lead.

    That should have been where the home team seized the day. Good teams smell a little blood in the water at that point: The other guys lose arguably their two best offensive linemen, they turn the ball over, the Bengals capitalize and, just like that, a season of missteps does a little dance.

    The Bengals even forced a three and out.

    Then, predictability set in, at least as it applies to the 2010, one step up, two steps back Bengals: Palmer tried to force a pass to Owens who was double-covered. Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons intercepted.

    Pittsburgh took a 20-7 lead into halftime. The home crowd booed the home team as it left the field.

    The game seemed to end on the first play of the fourth quarter, when the Steelers offense did something ďinnovative."

    (In-no-va-tive: Advanced, forward-looking, modern.)

    Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took the snap and handed the ball to wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who threw a very nice spiral to wide receiver Mike Wallace in the end zone. The advanced, forward-looking and modern play might have been entirely foreign to Bengals fans. But it worked just fine for the Steelers, who took a seemingly unbeatable 27-7 lead.

    With the Bengals, you feel like youíre watching the same game every week.

    Especially on offense, where the well of creativity continues to be a dry hole. The Bengals are very good at run-run-pass. They are accomplished at sending Ced Benson off the tackles for eight yards on two carries, then passing on 3rd-and-2.

    Carson Palmer had plenty of time to throw Monday, which more often than not means he had plenty of time to lock on to one receiver. Thatís what happened when Palmer threw the interception to Timmons. Palmer couldnít have looked more intently at Owens if heíd been taking T.O.ís picture.

    It got a whole lot better in the fourth quarter, if that thrills you. The Bengals have excelled at failed comebacks this year. This one was just the latest.

    Thanks for coming, ESPN. Hope you enjoyed The Tiara.
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    Default Re: Aftermath: Reality check for Cincy...

    Here's another slab of reality for Los Bungalos:

    Smith breaks left foot again
    Posted by jreedy November 11th, 2010, 3:48 pm

    The run of bad luck for Andre Smith continues.

    The second-year offensive tackle was injured during Wednesday’s practice and coach Marvin Lewis said on Thursday that Smith broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. Smith is definitely out for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis and in all likelihood for the rest of the season.

    Lewis said that Smith had the foot stepped on during a pass protection drill midway through the practice. He was carted off the practice field and was seen leaving the facility with a team employee for further tests.

    “We’ll go to a series of options that he’ll work to and we’ll go from there,” Lewis said.

    “When he got stepped on and he turned at the same time it torques the foot. It’s a bad stretch of bad luck for him. It’s what happens in football. Sometimes timing doesn’t work out that way.”

    Smith broke the fourth metatarsal in the same foot last year, two days after signing his contract. He missed the first 30 days of the preseason, which was the third longest amount of time missed for an unsigned first-rounder who eventually signed.

    He missed the first 10 games of last season but opted not to have surgery because it was the bone on the inside of the foot. The fifth metatarsal is located on the outside of the foot and has more stress put on it.

    Smith had offseason surgery but did not practice until after the team returned from training camp in Georgetown. He ended up playing in seven of the first eight games, starting the last three.

    “The timing of it and the prediction of it, you never know when it is going to happen,” Lewis said. “It’s a bump in the road again. Now that he’s got a taste of real starting football. I think that was a good experience for him and one that he’ll be dedicated to now that he’s earned it. He earned it by doing things I asked him to do and he didn’t get to play or suit up until he did those things. He knows the time frame of things whether it’s coming back this year or starting over next year. I seems more mature to handle whatever option is decided next week and to handle it correctly.”

    With Smith out, Dennis Roland will get the start at right tackle with Anthony Collins backing him up. Roaldn started the first six games while Collins has played in only two. He has been one of the eight inactive players the last five games.

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